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Southwest drops plan to put unvaccinated staff on unpaid leave starting in December

Southwest drops plan to put unvaccinated staff on unpaid leave starting in December | 19 Oct 2021 | Southwest Airlines has scrapped a plan to put unvaccinated employees who have applied for but haven't received a religious or medical exemption on unpaid leave as of a federal deadline in December. Southwest Airlines and American Airlines are among the carriers that are federal contractors and subject to a Biden administration requirement that their employees are vaccinated against Covid-19 by Dec. 8 unless they are exempt for medical or religious reasons. Southwest's senior vice president of operations and hospitality, Steve Goldberg, and Julie Weber, vice president and chief people officer, wrote to staff on Friday that if employees' requests for an exemption haven't been approved by Dec. 8, they could continue to work while following mask and distancing guidelines until the request has been reviewed.